All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.~2 Timothy 3:16-17
Moms, our days are busy, and before we know it our heads are hitting the pillow, and we realize we haven't spent any time in God's Word. Daily reading of our Bible is essential, but we also need to take the time to study God's Word.
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We need to make time to study more in-depth and get a better understanding of the context and meaning of the text. God's Word is the source of truth that everything else in our lives needs to be based on – it is foundational to everything! The Bible is the only source of power that can sustain us in our Christian walk.
God’s Word renews our minds, brings us back to truth, confronts us of our sin, directs us to the way of righteousness, gives us power, is a blessing to our lives, guides and directs us to the way of life, it meets all our needs, directs us to God’s will for our lives and we can list so many more reasons why we need to study His Word.
Now you’re asking – “Where do we begin to study deeper and how can we make the time for it?” Let me kindly and gently respond, “If you’re reading this blog post you have time to study God’s Word.” Ouch – but it’s true. Think of the time we waste in a day. Can we not take 15 minutes to dig a little deeper into the truths of the God’s Word?
I don’t have the one size fits all solution here but the hope is to give you some ideas, and I pray you will take the time to make this a priority in your day. Do it along with your children as part of their school day.
One error we can make is asking the question, “What does this text mean to me?” The Author (capital A) has already determined what the text means – our job and hope is to find out what God is saying to us in His Word. It is not to be based on our feelings or a definition that suits our needs and desires. The right question to ask is “What does the verse mean?” period. Take a moment to watch this video – What Does This Bible Verse Mean to You Game.
Some Study Helps:
Read the Word
Pretty necessary but it is very neglected. A continual daily reading of God’s Word should be part of each of our days. Don’t neglect the Old Testament. Use a reading plan if it helps and don’t worry about getting behind just stay steady and pick up where you leave off each day. Personally, I’ve read through the Bible various ways over the years.
This year my husband and I are reading the Bible together chronologically and using the notes in ESV Gospel Transformation Bible as our devotional. In the past, I've enjoyed using the ESV Daily Bible and use the ESV Bible app to have the text read to me as I follow along in my Bible. Using my headphones with the text being read helps me to concentrate. A companion book that works well with the ESV Daily Bible (it uses the Robert Murray M'Cheyne reading plan) is For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God's Word.
I’ve appreciated a tip from John MacArthur to read through the Old Testament once a year (every year) and choose a book of the New Testament to read through every day for a month. Using this method, you will become very familiar with both the Old and New Testaments.
Inductive Bible Study Method
The Inductive Bible Study Method made popular by Kay Arthur at Precept Ministries is an excellent way to get started into digging deeper into God’s Word. It is a three-step method where you observe the text, interpret and apply what you’ve learned. An excellent book to start with is Lord, Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 Days. There are many resources available online at Precept Ministries. You can sign up here for a free download thoroughly explaining the steps to the Inductive Bible Study Method here.
Precepts Austin is an online tool I use to study the meaning of a Greek Word or to use the various resources they have online to learn more about the context and meaning of a passage. I use this resource to study the weekly teaching from church and try to read, review and study the verses the Pastor is going to teach on Sunday throughout the week before church.
The SOAP method is a straightforward and basic method that will not take vast amounts of time, and you can use it in your daily reading of the Word.
- S – Scripture – Write out a passage from your reading that stands out to you.
- O – Observe – Write what stood out to you about the passage. Take time to dig a bit deeper here, so you don’t find yourself in the “What does it mean to me mode.” Use a good commentary or online Bible Study Tools to help you find the meaning of the passage.
- A – Apply – How can you apply what you’ve learned?
- P – Prayer – Pray over the scripture asking the Lord to apply what you’ve learned. This helps you to learn to pray scripture at the same time.
Bible Studies for Busy, Busy Mama’s
Doorposts has an ongoing series that will help you get comfortable with various methods of Bible Study in just minutes a day. They have several free online studies that you can also purchase in book or eBook format for Bible study that takes only 5-15 minutes a day for 30 days. You can buy the studies for Colossians 3 and Psalm 37. They also have studies for Colossians 3, Philippians 2, 1 John 3, 1 Corinthians 13, and Psalm 37 free to go through online on their blog.
Flower Mound Studies with Jen Wilkin:
Jen Wilkin has such solid curriculum online free to study through whole books of the Bible in the Old and New Testaments. You can download the PDF workbook for free and listen to the messages for each lesson online or even through the Podbean app (just search for Jen Wilkin in it). All the studies are here that are available. Lifeway carries her two of her studies in print form and with videos you can purchase to watch. These are great with a group of women in your church to do together or online yourself too. If you've not read Women of the Word by Jen I highly encourage you to do so too.
Ligonier Connect is an online study community that has over 45 courses. There are classes in Biblical Studies, Christian Living, Church History, Theology and Worldview and Culture. It is $9 a month, and you work at your own pace at home on your tablet or computer. You can find more information about it here and browse the catalog of courses available here.
Fundamentals of the Faith
Fundamentals of the Faith is an excellent study resource from Grace to You that takes you through thirteen lessons of basic biblical truths. There is a study guide you go through, and then you can listen to a message for each lesson online for free through Grace to You. This is a great series to go through as a family.
Revive Our Hearts
Nancy Leigh DeMoss at Revive Our Hearts has a radio program where she helps women to discover and apply the truths of God’s Word. She has many series where she goes through specific passages of scripture that you can follow along in your Bible and in your own time. Her radio messages are under 30 minutes each and packed with sound doctrine and sound theology. Visit her Bible resource page for some helpful resources. Her study on Esther was a favorite of mine to go through.
Commit to Studying the Word:
I know we can all spare at least fifteen minutes several days a week to be more deeply in the Word. Make it a priority and set aside times to study on your weekly calendar. Gather your supplies needed and put them in your favorite place to sit and study. Maybe it’s early in the morning, in the afternoon when babies are napping or after everyone is in bed. Maybe you take a quiet time in the afternoon with your littles and do the study along with them (Doorposts offers options to do their studies with your children). Listening to a message online is a great way to help teach them to sit quietly in church and listen too. You benefit and they benefit.
“No Spiritual Discipline is more important than the intake of God’s Word. Nothing can substitute for it. There simply is no healthy Christian life apart from a diet of the milk and meat of Scripture… Therefore if we would know God and be Godly, we must know the Word of God intimately.”
Tabletalk Magazine – Excellent Bible Study Magazine